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do i really need an amp?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on getting either the IE80s or Sony EX1000. right now I'm using a 2nd gen ipod touch. now i know very little about impedance and all that so I'm unsure if an amp is necessary. the impedance of both IEMs are around 32.

post #2 of 22

IMO no need for now but if you find something "lacking" then thats the time to ask getting for an amp. others would better chime-in though... for better answers.

 

or you can get another source?

post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoLimitsOnLife View Post

I'm planning on getting either the IE80s or Sony EX1000. right now I'm using a 2nd gen iPod touch. now i know very little about impedance and all that so I'm unsure if an amp is necessary. the impedance of both IEMs are around 32.

32-ohm headphones should be no problem for an iPod.

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

i had considered getting a new source but i couldnt see any advantages to them over my ipod.

post #5 of 22

I would not bother

post #6 of 22

Adding an amp is not only for impedance purposes.

Just because "you don't need one" doesn't necessarily mean it won't make a difference. Gotta think out of the square some.... You can use portable amplifiers to give headphones tonal changes, more body, weight, enhance detail, tighten up bass, widened soundstage, increase instrument separation, less distortion, the list goes on. There's lots of reasons to add an amp to your set up more than not besides needing more power even for low impedance heaphones. The general thing I see here is people asking if they need amp then members reply with the question "what headphones you using" "Nah they're 32ohms don't need one" is too common without people explaining.

 

For example: My TF10 (32ohms) sound down right bland coming from my Cowon S9 alone. Thin, lacking soundstage, volume, I find myself pumping the volume up to levels the Cowon can't handle before distortion which leaves me high and dry with no-where to go. Add a Fiio E11 to my set up and all those problems go away, I gain benefits from using it far more than any disadvantages even down to my player consuming less battery power.

I recommend trying a Fiio E6 with your new headphones and decide for yourself. I can almost promise you - you'll see an improvement in the areas I mentioned, it's a matter of trying for yourself to see the differences.  


Goodluck.


Edited by H20Fidelity - 6/5/12 at 2:09am
post #7 of 22

I am a recent convert to headphones and associated amps and in my opinion my listening pleasure has increased massively after Rockbox-ing my Ipod and loading it with FLAC files. I listen through Sennheiser 200's on the road via my Neco Soundlab V2 portable amp and I am amazed at the nuances I had missed in the past, read these posts and then choose an amp that suits your budget and potential needs, it won't be your last purchase, but it will be fun.

 

Rearwing

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Adding an amp is not only for impedance purposes.

Just because "you don't need one" doesn't necessarily mean it won't make a difference. Gotta think out of the square some.... You can use portable amplifiers to give headphones tonal changes, more body, weight, enhance detail, tighten up bass, widened soundstage, increase instrument separation, less distortion, the list goes on. There's lots of reasons to add an amp to your set up more than not besides needing more power even for low impedance heaphones. The general thing I see here is people asking if they need amp then members reply with the question "what headphones you using" "Nah they're 32ohms don't need one" is too common without people explaining.

 

For example: My TF10 (32ohms) sound down right bland coming from my Cowon S9 alone. Thin, lacking soundstage, volume, I find myself pumping the volume up to levels the Cowon can't handle before distortion which leaves me high and dry with no-where to go. Add a Fiio E11 to my set up and all those problems go away, I gain benefits from using it far more than any disadvantages even down to my player consuming less battery power.

I recommend trying a Fiio E6 with your new headphones and decide for yourself. I can almost promise you - you'll see an improvement in the areas I mentioned, it's a matter of trying for yourself to see the differences.  


Goodluck.

 

This is a great explanation, and one I definitely agree with.  My headphones (Sennheiser HD25's) are technically "easy to drive" due to their high efficiency rating (120dB), despite their medium impedence (70 ohm), and sound okay out of the iPod (4G touch) directly, but sound much more lively, articulate, etc., when played through my JDSLabs C421. 

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H20Fidelity View Post

Adding an amp is not only for impedance purposes.

Just because "you don't need one" doesn't necessarily mean it won't make a difference. Gotta think out of the square some.... You can use portable amplifiers to give headphones tonal changes, more body, weight, enhance detail, tighten up bass, widened soundstage, increase instrument separation, less distortion, the list goes on. There's lots of reasons to add an amp to your set up more than not besides needing more power even for low impedance heaphones. The general thing I see here is people asking if they need amp then members reply with the question "what headphones you using" "Nah they're 32ohms don't need one" is too common without people explaining.

 

For example: My TF10 (32ohms) sound down right bland coming from my Cowon S9 alone. Thin, lacking soundstage, volume, I find myself pumping the volume up to levels the Cowon can't handle before distortion which leaves me high and dry with no-where to go. Add a Fiio E11 to my set up and all those problems go away, I gain benefits from using it far more than any disadvantages even down to my player consuming less battery power.

I recommend trying a Fiio E6 with your new headphones and decide for yourself. I can almost promise you - you'll see an improvement in the areas I mentioned, it's a matter of trying for yourself to see the differences.  


Goodluck.

well i have a fiio e7 and with my Westone 4s and i can tell it brings the mids out a little more and bumps the bass very slightly. it also brings down the sharpness of the highs a tad. all is very minute and cant say i would have noticed without a side by side comparison. im sure with $200 amp i would see a larger difference but its not in my budget right now. is there another amp sub $100 that would provide me with more than what i have?


Edited by NoLimitsOnLife - 6/5/12 at 7:43pm
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoLimitsOnLife View Post

well i have a fiio e9 and with my Westone 4s and i can tell it brings the mids out a little more and bumps the bass very slightly. it also brings down the sharpness of the highs a tad. all is very minute and cant say i would have noticed without a side by side comparison. im sure with $200 amp i would see a larger difference but its not in my budget right now. is there another amp sub $100 that would provide me with more than what i have?


For the sub $100 amps I suggest you take a look at the shootouts. For the IE80's you may be better of with a JDSLabs CmoyBB over an E11 due to the warmth E11 has. CmoyBB is known to be a little brighter and probably a better match. Take a look at your options, read reviews on any ones you single out as contenders. 

1) http://www.head-fi.org/t/596482/the-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout-7-1-amps-compared

2) http://www.headfonia.com/music-on-a-budget-sub-100-portable-amps-shootout/

 

post #11 of 22

To the OP. You need an amp if it is not loud enough currently and you end up maxing out the volume of the iPod. Other than that, an amp may/may not introduce changes into the signal, depends on the amp, there are amps with bass/treble eq. Do not expect and night and day differences.

post #12 of 22

use an eq on your player... Save the money for the amp and buy nicer headphones or a nicer player when you can. You'll see more improvement. 

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

well the EQ on my ipod touch is the worst thing iv ever heard in my life. i looked at the Cowon J3 a few days ago but cant really justify a new source right now. iv been told the SQ isnt any better than what i already have 

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoLimitsOnLife View Post

well the EQ on my ipod touch is the worst thing iv ever heard in my life. i looked at the Cowon J3 a few days ago but cant really justify a new source right now. iv been told the SQ isnt any better than what i already have 


The ipod touch appears average until you install one of the highly regarded equalizer apps available. One is simply called 'Equalizer' another  'EQU' and another "SonicMax Pro" I recommend trying these from the app store before deciding. I was about to give up on my touch until I found those apps!

http://www.head-fi.org/t/528724/quality-eq-apps-for-ipod-iphone-ipad

 


Edited by H20Fidelity - 6/9/12 at 12:17am
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

I had just looked at both apps. from the specs it doesnt look like either app is compatable with my 2g itouch (only 3g and 4g). please correct me if im wrong

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